Traveling during the holiday season doesn't have to be stressful!
Traveling over the holidays can be notoriously busy, expensive, and stressful, but the news isn’t all bad! Here are some tips – courtesy independenttraveler.com – to make holiday traveling a breeze:
• Avoid Peak Travel Dates. Because Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on Sundays this year, be aware that the Friday before and the Monday after will be extremely busy travel days. Also keep in mind that with each successive day, it gets a little busier and more expensive. Bottom line: Travel off-peak whenever possible.
• Know Your Airports. Checking alternate airports is a pretty standard tactic, but actually choosing to go with an alternate airport can prove to be beneficial as their parking, rental cars, traffic to and from, and nearby hotels can save both time and money. Also, remember that smaller airports see fewer flights and, typically, fewer delays.
• Plot Connections Carefully. When booking flights, check for sufficient time during layovers, and build in some time for flight delays and weather woes. Particularly during the winter months, peak travel times often bring peak travel delays, and your connection is more likely to be jeopardized.
• Leave Early. During peak travel times, much of the trouble you’ll face lies on this side of the security check-in, from traffic jams and full parking lots to absent shuttles and long lines. Leave for the airport early to anticipate all the peripheral delays you may encounter.
• Pack Wisely. If possible, try packing everything into your carry-on without having to check any baggage. Keep in mind that most airlines are now charging travelers a fee for checking any bags on domestic flights.
• Use the Web. The latest self-service developments in online travel can be tremendous time-savers during peak travel times. Whenever possible, print your boarding passes at home or use check-in kiosks.
• Travel Early or Late in the Day. As a rule, airports are least congested at times when normal human beings would rather be at home or even asleep. Delays are far less likely for morning flights, and airports usually unclog as the afternoon and evening peak passes.
• Additional Tips:
-Gas up the night before you travel and give your cell phone a full charge.
-Take along books, magazines, etc. to help you get through delays. This is especially important when traveling with children.
-Have phone numbers for everything: your hotel, car rental agency, airline, friends and family at your destination, etc. This will help you avoid the cost of using directory assistance.
-If you’ll be using long-term airport parking, be sure to reserve yourself a spot ahead of time at an off-airport lot.
-Don’t wrap gifts, especially if you intend to carry them on the plane. Even in checked baggage, there is a strong chance they will be unwrapped for inspection by security personnel.
• Important TSA Regulations:
-Liquids and gels that are packed in carry-ons must be in individual containers of 3.4 ounces or less and placed inside one clear, quart-size, plastic, zip-top bag (only one bag permitted per passenger). This also applies to perfume, alcohol, liquid and gel-based cosmetics (i.e. foundation, mascara, lip gloss, etc.), and any other liquid or gel item. If more than 3.4 ounces of any liquid or gel is needed, it should be packed in your checked luggage.
-The above regulations do not apply to prescription medications and formula, but the TSA does prefer that those items are packed in their original labeled containers.
Ernst & Haas wished you happy and safe travels this holiday season!
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